CMC BIBFRAME Task Force blog
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   


View all (26) posts »

Report 3.1 -- Event in BibFrame

Posted By Kevin S. Kishimoto, Friday, January 30, 2015

by K. Kishimoto, T. Snyder, and K. Szeto 


In the BIBFRAME vocabulary as it currently stands, the term “event” is used in a number of distinct ways. In the Instance class, it is used in the context of the provider property, which has subproperties production event (bf:production), publication event (bf:publication), distribution event (bf:distribution), and manufacture event (bf: manufacture). Completely apart from this use of the term “event” in the labels for these familiar properties in the Instance class, there exists an “Event Entity” (bf:Event, a class of resource all its own, just like a Work or an Authority) as well as an “Event associated with content” property (bf:event). The event property [lowercase e] is in the domain of Work, whose range, or expected value, would be a bf:Event [capital E]. The Event Entity (bf:Event) also has its own properties--eventAgent, eventDate, and eventPlace--that identify the agents, dates, and places associated with an established Event. Together, these elements of the vocabulary (bf:Work, bf:event, and bf:Event) would relate a Work to the Event. Presumably, the Work and Event could be related in a number of ways, although it is unclear if the event property would allow the assignment of a more specific relationship than “associated with.” The written description of bf:event is somewhat vague: “Information about the geographic area/or time period covered by an event (e.g., a report).

In addition to these formal uses of the term “event,” there are a number of BIBFRAME concepts which are event-like. The creation of an intellectual work is an event-like concept, as well as the creation or modification of metadata describing the Work or its Instance. The Agent type bf:Meeting is another event-like concept. [See Appendix A (below) for a list of events and event-like concepts found in the current BIBFRAME vocabulary.] Other types of event-like concept commonly used by catalogers, such as birth or death of a person, are not covered in the BIBFRAME vocabulary at this time.

The BIBFRAME AV Modeling Study, completed in May 2014, articulates the complexities of audiovisual resources that pose difficulties for modeling. In particular, in its analysis of existing content models the likes of FRBR/RDA, indecs, and others, the report asserts that although entities such as agent, subject, and place are interpreted similarly across the models, the Event concept stands out as being interpreted in significantly different ways. For example, events in FRBR/RDA are generally related to the subject matter of a work, whereas in indecs, they can take the form of “creating” events, “using” events, or “transforming” events. Although indecs is found to be an event-centric model (in contrast to the work-centric model in FRBR/RDA), and therefore “more aligned with the needs of the largely event-based creation of audiovisual content,” the report makes the point that most of the models examined are not able “to describe an event as the content itself” in cases when the content is “not a work in the mind of a creator.” The report emphasizes that an ideal content model would allow both work-centric and event-centric approaches for description. Such a content model would accommodate standard works of Western art music for which a single composer displays intent and is assigned sole agency as well as the huge body of musical content that does not easily fit this mold.

The report contains lists of examples of moving image content and recorded sound content that serve to demonstrate the great variety in the artistic and intellectual content represented by audiovisual resources. The lists make immediately apparent the time-based nature of audiovisual content, and the ensuing discussion of this aspect of audiovisual content reminds readers that a series of smaller events, initiated by a number of different people in different roles, must occur from performance to recording to production/publication, etc. in order for these resources to exist. The examples, which encompass both musical and nonmusical content, range from obviously intentional creative works like feature films and studio albums to documentation of live performances, historical events, interviews, ethnographic material, and natural phenomena. Of course, in today’s web-enabled creative environment, there can also be an almost infinite proliferation of mashups, remixes, etc., as well as variant versions thereof.

The BIBFRAME AV Modeling Study, and specifically its analysis of the concept of Event, has attracted deserved attention in the cataloging and metadata community, in particular on the BIBFRAME-L email list. In August 2014, Phil Schreur voiced his support for elevating the concept of Event in BIBFRAME, especially as the cataloging world moves more and more toward cataloging complex media resources. In September 2014, Kelley McGrath stated:

I am not completely convinced that there is no work in a collection of recordings of birdsongs or congressional hearings. From one point of view, a FRBR work is an intellectual or artistic creation that is bound up with intention and that can be contrasted with a straight act of recording. On the other hand, I think the idea of intellectual or artistic creation could be interpreted broadly enough to include essentially all human artifacts. Even with a plain recording, someone set up the camera at a certain angle and chose a start and stop point.

In December 2014, several participants on the BIBFRAME-L list contributed to a thread about events in BIBFRAME. (See the December 2014 BIBFRAME-L archive.) The initial inquiry, from Cornell’s Steven Folsom, had its roots in the idea of using the BIBFRAME vocabulary to relate the hip hop flyers from the Cornell Hip Hop Collection to the parties and other events that they advertise. Among the responders was LC’s Nate Trail:

Steven, we have been looking at bf:Event a little , as a result of the AV paper. They suggested that Events could be thought of as Works, and I think we're moving in that direction, ie., subclassing Work for an event, which gives you the ability to describe it much more thoroughly than just date, time, place.  There is some confusion with overlapping concepts like the provision event, where something is published or manufactured or whatever, where you really don't want or need to go much beyond date/time/place.
You could then have bf:Event be the range of bf:subject.

This is encouraging in the long run. However, changes to the BIBFRAME vocabulary will not occur until later in 2015, possibly in conjunction with LC’s upcoming BIBFRAME pilot. (See the recent joint publication of LC and OCLC on linked data models.)

MARC encoding allows a few ways in which one can record event data. A common method for including event data in bibliographic records for music resources is through the use of the MARC 518 field in which the cataloger can create a “Date/Time and Place of Event Note.” The 518 note most commonly records the date and place of recording or broadcast. In 2010, new subfields were defined for this field allowing one to create more granular data, but the 518 is still a note field containing literal text. A more precise method to record event data is through the use of the MARC bib 033 field, but this coding is somewhat complex (requiring one to cross reference LC Class G). For creation of work events, the MARC bib 045 or the MARC authority 046 fields are used. The MARC encoding which is closest to the A/V Modeling Study’s concept of event as content is probably the MARC 111 (or 110) field which names a meeting or conference. Unfortunately, this type of “corporate body” has not often been used to describe musical performances (except in rare cases, like some music festivals). [See Appendix B (below) for a chart listing content (work / event) description practices for typical music resources.] Named events can also be established as subject headings, but this use case would not apply to most music resources.

The authors of this report believe that there are some specific music resources whose discoverability would benefit greatly from an event-centric description in BIBFRAME. In fact, due to their time-based nature, most (if not all) types of music media could use better and more detailed event data, a combination work+event descriptive practice being ideal.

Audio and video recordings of live performances in which multiple works are performed is the most obvious case for an event-centric description. Concerts and recitals often lack formal titles, especially those recorded and collected locally by an institution, and thus the creation of a proper work-centric access point is difficult and, if possible, often meaningless. Recordings of masterclasses and field recordings of musical events are two other types of music resources which would be better described as events rather than works.

  • concert / recital (principal performer) = performer + date/time + place

  • concert / recital (multiple performers) = date/time + place + [event type?]

  • masterclass = teacher + date/time + place

  • field recording = performer(s) + recordist + date/time + place

The ability to describe content using a combination of work and event data would enhance the description and discoverability of numerous types of music resources:

  • jazz (single tune) = song + composer + performer + date/time + place

  • oft-recorded classical piece = work + composer + performer + date

  • traditional / folk music song = song + performer + date/time + place

  • studio-recorded cast album for musical = work + composer + librettist + date of stage production + place of stage production + [event type?]

  • selected music from television / radio show = name of show (work) + date/time of original broadcast + song (work) + performer

  • television / radio show featuring music = name of show (work) + date/time of original broadcast

  • [bonus] variant versions of classical work (such as Gluck’s Orfeo) = work + composer + date of first performance of version + place of first performance of version

Perhaps the addition of a Type of Event property would enhance event-related description for music resources. In conclusion, the BIBFRAME model holds real potential for robust description of a wide array of inherently time-based audiovisual content, but much work still needs to be done to fully develop this mechanism.

Appendix A: Events and event-like concepts in current BIBFRAME vocabulary

Resource type

  • Event entity (bf:Event [capitalized])

Properties used with Work

  • Creation of work event (bf:originDate, bf:originPlace)

  • Creation of metadata event (bf:creationDate)

  • Modification of metadata event (bf:changeDate)

  • Dissertation event, i.e. degree conferral date [?] (bf:dissertationYear)

  • bf:event [lowercase] (bf:eventAgent, bf:eventDate, bf:eventPlace)

  • Conversion of data from another format event (bf:generationDate)

  • Legal event (bf:legalDate)

  • bf:temporalCoverageNote [?]

Properties used with Instance

  • Modification of metadata event (bf:changeDate)

  • Creation of metadata event (bf:creationDate)

  • Custodial history (bf:custodialHistory)

  • Conversion of data from another format event (bf:generationDate)

  • Legal event (bf:legalDate)

  • Provider event (bf:provider, bf:providerDate, bf:providerPlace, bf:providerRole)

    • bf:distribution

    • bf:manufacture

    • bf:production

    • bf:publication

Authority types

  • bf:Place + bf:Temporal

  • bf:Meeting (type of Agent)

Properties used with Annotation

  • bf:assertionDate (including review, summary)

Appendix B: Content description for typical library music resources (Work / Event)

[click link to see chart]

Tags:  AV Modeling Study  BIBFRAME and vocabularies  events 

Permalink | Comments (1)

Comments on this post...

Kimmy Szeto says...
Posted Friday, January 22, 2016
Updated link to the AV Modeling Study:
Permalink to this Comment }


Music Library Association 1600 Aspen Commons Suite 100 Middleton, WI 53562

608-831-8200 FAX
About MLA

The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.